Some Old Devon Churches
By J. Stabb
London: Simpkin et al (1908-16)
Transcribed and edited by Dr Roger Peters
Full text available at
Prepared by Michael Steer
Between 1908 and 1916, John Stabb, an ecclesiologist and photographer who lived in Torquay, published three volumes of Some Old Devon Churches and one of Devon Church Antiquities. A projected second volume of the latter, regarded by Stabb himself as a complement to the former, did not materialize because of his untimely death on August 2nd 1917, aged 52. Collectively, Stabb's four volumes present descriptions of 261 Devon churches and their antiquities.
STOCKLEIGH ENGLISH. St. Mary. The church consists of chancel, nave, south porch, and west tower with four bells. The chancel, which is small, is separated from the nave by an arch, and contains a modern oak altar with marble top having 5 "consecration crosses". The front has paintings of angels with musical instruments and bears the date Ascension Day 1885 [May 14th]. There is a modern marble credence table with cross. The east window of three lights is filled with modern glass representing the Ascension and bears the date Ascension Day 1880 [May 6th], George E. Doughty, Rector. The two narrow south windows are filled with modern glass representing the Blessed Virgin with lily, dated May Day 1880; and the Good Shepherd, dated St. Peter's Day 1880 [June 29th]. The modern pulpit has a carving of the Good Shepherd and is dated St. Peter's Day 1884 [June 29th]. There are two windows on the south side, the westernmost, of two lights, being filled with modern glass representing the Annunciation and bearing the inscription:- To Gods glory and in pious memory of a quarter of a century's unbroken friendship with the Rector of this parish. W. E. Romwell Lodge Middlesex. St. Peters Day 1882.
The single window on the north side is of three lights and has modern glass representing the Resurrection and bears the inscription:- In memory of John Restwood Bellew, Died
24th January 1862, aged 58.
On the north wall are four marble tablets in memory of members of the Bellew family dated from 1772 to 1826. In the nave is a gravestone with the names of many members of the same family, who occupied Stockleigh Court for three centuries; the dates are from 1597 to 1752. Beneath the north window is a brass tablet in memory of Mary Ann Bellew, who died March 2nd 1890. There is a plain granite octagonal font on a circular shaft. On each side of the tower arch are the old boards with the Commandments painted on them. Over the south doorway are the Royal arms. On the north wall is an old board on which are painted quotations from Genesis and the Psalms. On the south wall of the belfry is a modern marble tablet with the inscription:- To God's glory and in loving memory of
the late Rector George Doughty, this tower
and its bells were restored A.D. 1890.
The registers date from 1610.